The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) plunged by more than 100 points earlier this morning, as political bickering takes center stage in the current battle over the federal budget. The fight is expected to last until the very last minute, with no guarantee that the Monday deadline will be met.
Also this morning, the Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index showed a reading of 77.5, down from the final reading of 82.1 for August, and a half-point lower than the consensus. The index measures sentiment on factors such as employment and inflation, as well as political and global affairs.
Here's a look at some of the movements on the Dow so far today.
Winners are in short supply today
With the Dow so droopy, there aren't many stocks doing well an hour or so before noon.
Today's big winner, of course, is Nike (NYSE: NKE ) , soaring to new heights after a stellar first-quarter earnings report, and kicking off the Dow component earnings season. The sportswear giant has been up more than 5% most of the morning, but suffered a slight slump after dueling analysts weighed in on the company. Sterne Agee upgraded the stock, while Stifel Nicolaus analysts cut it to "hold." Any negativity seems to be fading, however, and Nike was back up over 5% shortly before the noon hour.
Other components were more shabbily treated by analysts today, such as Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) . Nike's fellow Dow freshman was knocked down to "neutral" from "buy" at Guggenheim this morning, with analysts citing declining interest rates as a threat to future income. Also weighing in was Credit Suisse, which now forecasts third-quarter earnings at Goldman to be a mere $2.10 per share, versus its previous estimate of $2.63.
Downtrodden JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) , meanwhile, is looking pretty nifty today, considering the Department of Justice wants the Bank of Dimon to fork over around $11 billion to settle a slew of claims regarding toxic mortgages it allegedly stuffed into noxious mortgage-backed securities back in the day. According to the Financial Times, the DOJ also wants the bank to admit guilt, but concerns over future liability are making JPMorgan's handlers balk.
3 companies you need to know about
The retail space is in the midst of the biggest paradigm shift since mail order took off at the turn of last century. Only those most forward-looking and capable companies will survive, and they'll handsomely reward those investors who understand the landscape. You can read about the 3 Companies Ready to Rule Retail in The Motley Fool's special report. Uncovering these top picks is free today; just click here to read more.